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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/27/15

Comprehensive Progressive Agenda & Wishlist Report

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Campaign Finance

3. Implement publicly and locally financed https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publicly_funded_elections">political campaigns.Public funding of election -- that is, depending on taxes more than private gifts to fund campaigns. Public financing is regularly thought to free candidates from the immense burden of raising money and decrease the impact of wealthy contributors and special interests. In this way, the principle aims are this funding diminishes the money related point of interest of power holders and lessens the officeholders' edge of triumph, which renders elections much more competitive.Public finance reduces corruption by limiting conflict of interests and opens elected public service to the qualified from all walks of life.

An especially inventive and possibly powerful arrangement originates from the http://www.brennancenter.org/issues/public-financing">Brennan Center of New York: Small gifts are coordinated and increased by voters, making money-related motivations for candidate to speak to every one of their constituents and urging normal residents to take part in the political procedure. Under the Brennan Center model, a $50 gift would be coordinated and after that duplicated by, say, five -- making it worth $250 to the applicant. The Brennan study concluded that "Big money in politics is a system that is excellent at perpetuating, replicating and building on itself. The task of reformers is to stop this vicious cycle at its source, by upending the campaign financing system".

For starters, adopt the https://www.congress.gov/bill/112th-congress/house-bill/1404">Fair Elections Now Act, (S.2023 -- 113th Congress (2013-2014) introduced in Congress in April 2011.

In Sept 9, 2015, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled a https://www.hillaryclinton.com/p/briefing/factsheets/2015/09/08/restore-integrity-to-elections/">plan if elected for comprehensive campaign finance reform, including seeking a constitutional amendment to reverse the Supreme Court's Citizen United, that led to the rise of super PACs, appoint Supreme Court justices who value the right to vote over the right of billionaires to buy elections, advocate for the SEC to issue a rule requiring all publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending, including currently secret outside spending, to their shareholders, issue an executive order requiring all government contractors to reveal their campaign contributions, ending secret, unaccountable dark money, and establish a small donor matching system for presidential and congressional candidates.

In Congress, in Jan 21, 2015, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) presented the https://ellison.house.gov/media-focus/press-discharges/rep-ellison-presents shield popular government from-criminal-partnerships act">Protect Democracy from Criminal Corporations Act (H.R.450-114th Congress (2015-2016)) to amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to prohibit criminal corporations from making distributions of funds regarding a campaign for election for Federal, State, or local office. This bill would counteract corporations that have committed crimes or settled for more than $1 million over felony offences from offering cash to any political candidates or SuperPACs.

Public education

The No Child Left Behind act, the current U.S. public education law was passed during the administration of President George W Bush (and whose arrangements were to a great extent expanded by President Obama) significantly expanded the government part in K-12 training as a prerequisite for accepting federal dollars. States were required to make new, expansive based school responsibility arrangements centered around testing of all students in evaluations three through eight grades.

4. Over-haul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Child_Left_Behind_Act">No Child Left Behind (NCLB) policy to require either full high school or technical school graduation. In school year 2012--13, although in the range of 3.1 million high school pupils, or 81 percent, graduated on time with a standard certificate, it still leaves behind 19% drop out rate, comprising of 1.2 million students who drop out of secondary schools.

The policy thinking behind NCLB has been that of "a law that not only ensures students are prepared for college, careers and life, but also delivers on the promise of equity and real opportunity for every child." The currently http://nces.ed.gov/ccd/tables/ACGR_2010-11_to_2012-13.asp">amended version should "include a increased targeting of high-quality preschool, boosting resources for K-12 schools and a reduction of duplicative tests at the state and local levels". John Gomperts, president and CEO of America's http://www.americaspromise.org/">Promise Alliance, which leads a campaign to reach a national 90 percent graduation rate by 2020, indicated increases in the last decade have led to nearly 2 million additional students earning high school diplomas.

Universal Pre-Kindergarten

5. Implement https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_preschool">Universal Pre-Kindergarten.

Universal Pre-K is a development inside of the American instruction system to make access to preschool training accessible to all families, like the way kindergarten is accessible to each of the 5-and 6-year-olds. Like kindergarten, the Pre-K thought is to give deliberate education projects that incorporate self-teaching and alternative instruction.

The term universal Pre-K implies that these programs are accessible for any youngster in any state, paying little respect to the child's capacities and family income, according to the National Association for the http://www.naeyc.org/files/tyc/file/PreK-WhatExactlyIsIt.pdf">Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Additionally, there is a growing http://www.naesp.org/principal-mayjune-2011-early-childhood/why-pre-k-critical-closing-achievement-gap">consensus that early-education opportunities hold the key to help closing the achievement gaps between students of different backgrounds.

Earned income tax credit

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I am an accounting instructor in Iowa. As a progressive, my mentor was the late Sen Paul Wellstone of Minnesota. I worked for him in all his campaigns since 1992 until his death in a plane crash in 2002. In all regards, he was a constant (more...)
 

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